August 30, 1999
From left, Duvall City Director Jim Bourasa, Safeway District Manager Bill Rochester, Councilmember Jeane Baldwin, unidentified person, Chamber of Commerce member Margie Coy, architect Mike McMillin, Councilmember Tom Loutsis, Project Coordinator Jan Sparks, Project Coordinator John Witkowski, Mayor Glen Kuntz and Safeway Area Manager Mitch Johnson break ground for the new Safeway store.
Staff photo by Lisa Allen.
DUVALL--Safeway company officials say it will be a "one of a kind" store.
"It was designed specifically for Duvall," said Safeway Area Manager Mitch Johnson at the groundbreaking for the new store last week. "Through the City Council and Planning Commission, and working with the city planner, we have tried to keep the flavor of rural buildings. We are using a mix of materials, with modulation of the front. It will be very interesting to look at."
City Planner Eric Jensen said planning for the "unique" store came from attempting to keep "Main Street design standards" and studying other areas. "Other designers, after looking at this store, may want to emulate it," Jensen said.
Safeway architect Mike McMillin, of Baylis Architects in Bellevue, said the site will also be heavily landscaped with lots of trees, buffers from the street, and extensive ground cover.
A large part of the site is mitigated wetlands, including a stream and wetland corridor. Jensen said all development will occur on the highway side of the wetlands.
With the sensitive areas work and surface preparation finished at the site just north of Big Rock Road and east of SR-203, construction began in earnest shortly after the official groundbreaking.
The company hopes to have the 42,000-square-foot store open by June 1st of next year, said Bill Rochester, District Manager for Safeway. The realignment of Big Rock Road will also be completed at that time, he said.
For safety reasons, the state Department of Transportation (DOT) required Big Rock Road to be moved so that it merges with SR-203 about 1,000 feet north of where it is now.
It was that requirement that almost sunk the proposed development, the biggest ever for Duvall, last winter. Construction was planned to begin over a year ago just after the 40-acre parcel was purchased, but the road realignment effort took its toll among engineers from Safeway and DOT.
For a time last winter, Safeway actually dropped its plans for the store, citing difficulties with the sensitive areas and the road problem. But city officials were not about to let that happen and scrambled to get the parties back together. By the first of the year, project plans for the new store were back on track.
"I am elated that they (Safeway) are coming here," said Duvall Mayor Glen Kuntz. "It's a new beginning for Duvall."